Imágenes de páginas


THESE virtues raised her fabric to the sky;
For that which is next heaven is charity.
But, as high turrets, for their airy steep,
Require foundations in proportion deep;
And lofty cedars as far upward shoot,
As to the nether heavens they drive the root:
So low did her secure foundation lie,
She was not humble, but humility.
Scarcely she knew that she was great, or fair,
Or wise, beyond what other women are,
Or, which is better, knew, but never durst compare.
For, to be conscious of what all admire
And not be vain, advances virtue higher.
But still she found, or rather thought she found,
Her own worth wanting, others to abound;
Ascribed above their due to every one,
Unjust and scanty to herself alone.
Such her devotion was, as might give rules
Of speculation to disputing schools,
And teach us equally the scales to hold
Between the two extremes of hot and cold;
That pious heat may moderately prevail,
And we be warmed, but not be scorched by zeal.
Business might shorten, not disturb, her prayer;
Heaven had the best, if not the greatest, share.
An active life long orisons forbids;
Yet still she prayed, for still she prayed by deeds.
Her every day was Sabbath; only free
From hours of prayer, for hours of charity. ,

Such as the Jews from servile toil released,
Where works of mercy were a part of rest;
Such as blest angels exercise above,
Varied with sacred hymns and acts of love:
Such Sabbaths as that one she now enjoys,
E'en that perpetual one which she employs

(For such vicissitudes in heaven there are)

In praise alternate and alternate prayer.

All this she practised here; that when she sprung

Amidst the choirs, at the first sight she sung:

Sung, and was sung hc'rself in angels' lays;

For, praising her, they did her Maker praise.

All offices of heaven so well she knew,

Before she came, that nothing there was new:

And she was so familiarly received,

As one returning, not as one arrived.

As precious gums are not for lasting fire,

They but perfume the temple, and expire:

So was she soon exhaled, and vanished hence;

A short sweet odour, of a vast expense.

She vanished, we can scarcely say she died,

For but a 'now' did heaven and earth divide:

She passed serenely with a single breath;

This moment perfect health, the next was death.

One sigh did her eternal bliss assure;

So little penance needs, when souls are almost pure.

As gentle dreams our waking thoughts pursue;

Or, one dream passed, we slide into a new;

So close they follow, such wild order keep,

We think ourselves awake, and are asleep:

So softly death succeeded life in her:

She did but dream of heaven, and she was there.

A Song For St. Cecilia's Day 1687.

FROM harmony, from heavenly harmony,
This universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
'Arise, ye more than dead!'

Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,

In order to their stations leap,

And music's power obey.

From harmony, from heavenly harmony,

This universal frame began:

From harmony, to harmony

Through all the compass of the note3 it ran,

The diapason closing full in man.

What passion cannot music raise and quell?

When Jubal struck the chorded shell,

His list'ning brethren stood around,

And, wond'ring, on their faces fell

To worship that celestial sound.

Less than a god they thought there could not dwell

Within the hollow of that shell,

That spoke so sweetly and so well.

What passion cannot music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangor
Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger
And mortal alarms.

The double double double beat

Of the thundering drum,

Cries 'Hark! the foes come;

Charge, Charge! 'tis too late to retreat.'

The soft complaining flute

In dying notes discovers

The woes of hopeless lovers,

Whose dirge is whispered by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim

Their jealous pangs and desperation,

Their frantic indignation,

Depth of pains, and height of passion,

For the fair disdainful dame.

But oh! what art can teach,

What human voice can reach

The sacred organ's praise?

Notes inspiring holy love,

Notes that wing their heavenly ways

To join the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race,

And trees uprooted left their place,

Sequacious of the lyre:

But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher;

When to her organ, vocal breath was given;

An Angel heard, and straight appeared,

Mistaking earth for heaven.

Grand Chorus.

As from the power of sacred lays,

The spheres began to move,

And sung the great Creator's praise

To all the blessed above;

So when the last and dreadful hour

This crumbling pageant shall devour,

The trumpet shall be heard on high,

The dead shall live, the living die,

And music shall untune the sky.


Joseph Addison.

Born 1672. Died 1719.

The Blessings Of Liberty.

O LIBERTY, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling Plenty leads thy wanton train;
Eased of her load, Subjection grows more light,
And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the Sun, and pleasure to the day.

Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores;
How has she oft exhausted all her stores,
How oft in fields of death thy presence sought,
Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought!
On foreign mountains may the Sun refine
The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine,
With citron groves adorn a distant soil,
And the fat olive swell with floods of oil:
We envy not the warmer clime, that lies
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies,
Nor at the coarseness of our heav'n repine,
Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine-:
'Tis liberty that crowns Britannia's isle

And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains smile.
Others with tow'ring piles may please the sight
And in their proud aspiring domes delight:

« AnteriorContinuar »